Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials to transferring a design onto a material by stitching on strands of thread or yarn using a needle. The origins of embroidery are unknown. According to records in The Book of History, such a rule as "Decoration effects on clothes with embroidery" was prescribed by awarded dress system existing 4000 years ago and an article embroidered with dragon and phoenix patterns made in the Warring States Period was unearthed from the Chu tomb in Changsha. It is the most ancient embroidered article among those being discovered so far and has a history of over 2000 years. The others stich embroidery found in ancient Egypt and also during Iron Age Northern Europe. There are several different forms of embroidery, many with rich cultural histories dating back hundreds and even thousands of years. Nowadays, embroidery continues to be a popular craft and is often featured on clothing and decorative housewares.
In free embroidery, designs are applied without regard to the weave of the underlying fabric. Examples include crewel and traditional Chinese and Japanese embroidery. Cross-stitch counted-thread embroidery. Tea-cloth, Hungary, mid-20th century. By using a needle, thread or yarn is sewn on to a base material or fabric to create a pattern, embroidery can be classified according to whether the design is stitched on top of or through the foundation fabric, and by the relationship of stitch placement to the fabric. Embroidery may also use other materials such as metal strips, beads, pealls, and sequins. Sewing machines can be used to create machine embroidery.
Learning how to embroider is fairly simple. One piece of equipment recommended for beginners is an embroidery hoop. This is a simple wooden frame often formed in a circle, composed of two rings of wood that fit together. By slipping the fabric between the rings, it can be tightly stretched and held still and flat to ease embroidering. But being mastery in embroidery can take years and an untold amount of patience, not to mention pricked fingers.
Machine embroidery, arising in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution, mimics hand embroidery, especially in the use of chain stitches, but the "satin stitch" and hemming stitches of machine work rely on the use of multiple threads and resemble hand work in their appearance, not their construction. In machine embroidery, different types of "fills" add texture and design to the finished work.
Much contemporary embroidery is stitched with a computerized embroidery machine using patterns "digitized" with embroidery software. With the advent of computer technology, in just few moments, digital embroidery machines can stitch a logo or other design in what would take someone days to do by hand. Embroidery has become streamlined and even more profitable than in the past. Embroidery machines are now computerized with design software that can generate almost any embroidery design that we can imagine.